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Palace Museum is a wonderland for the imagination

By XING WEN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-20 09:20
Chen Keyi, founder of Tosee Art, interacts with students in a class at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. [Photo provided to China Daily]

It's a dilemma facing parents the world over. Where to bring the children for a weekend treat? Compared to a thrilling roller coaster ride at theme parks, there is a more down-to-earth option that provides plenty of fun and education-the Palace Museum.

The 600-year-old wonderland of spectacular pavilions, imperial gardens and valuable artworks can guarantee quality time for both parents and children. It proves that imagination can be the best playground.

Yiyi, an 8-year-old boy, is a case in point. He and his parents head to the museum almost every weekend to attend a special class where the lecturers bring artifacts displayed in the splendid wooden construction to life with vivid tales and good stories, allowing both adults and children to understand their design and cultural value.

Most of the lecturers are researchers at the Palace Museum or scholars from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the course topics range from Chinese traditional rituals and architecture to calligraphy and bronze wares.

After the class, a workshop is held to help children to create their own artworks such as paintings, works of pottery and sculptures based on what they have learned that day.

"The lecturers are patient in communicating with children and are adept at creating games to help them better digest the information," says Yiyi's mother, Pang Weilin.

"Being a frequent visitor to the museum, he can observe how the scenery changes throughout the seasons. Both the surroundings and the courses help him become more sensitive to art and beauty," she says, adding that many parents, including her and her husband, also join their children in the museum discovery tours.

The class and the workshop are parts of a program initiated by the museum and the art education provider Tosee Art, which was set up four years ago.

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